Assistant Professor

Division of Infectious Diseases

Project title: Chemical Genomics Screen to identify Inhibitors of Candida albicans biofilm

Ashraf Ibrahim, Ph.D – LA BioMed/Harbor-UCLA
John E. Edwards, MD – LA BioMed/Harbor-UCLA
Robert Damoiseaux, PhD – UCLA

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
Infectious diseases, Chemical genomics, Drug development

Project Description:
The fungus Candida albicans is the third leading cause of intravascular catheter-related infections, most of which are due to the presence of biofilms in these devices. Cells in biofilms display high levels of resistance to most antifungal agents and prolong infections by providing a safe sanctuary from which organisms can seed new infection sites. Thus, dispersal of cells from biofilms becomes a significant phenomenon, predisposing susceptible patients to life threatening disseminated candidiasis. The goal of this proposal is to inhibit the process of biofilm dispersal by screening hundreds of FDA approved small molecule drugs, in novel, high-throughput biofilm assays. Short-listed molecules will be validated in a unique catheterized mouse model of biofilm formation, for their potency to inhibit biofilm-associated dissemination in vivo. Overall, this study will provide novel drug candidates that will supplement the rapidly shrinking antifungal-drug armory against C. albicans biofilms.